Don’t Go It Alone

Enlisting trusted friends and family members to support you in your efforts to improve your health and appearance can help you to meet your goals.


Lord, I know that you will never leave me or forsake me. Thank you, Lord, for standing by me and helping me as I work to improve my health and appearance. Thank you also for providing me with friends and family members to support me in these efforts.


God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

Hebrews 13:5

As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.

Proverbs 27:17

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!

Ecclesiastes 4:9–10

Though you certainly can, it is not necessary to tell everyone you know or come into contact with that you are working to improve your health or to lose weight. Indeed, being completely public about your efforts might be uncomfortable for some. However, telling at least a few close friends or family members, and engaging their help in your undertaking, can make the work easier and can improve your chances of success.

It is reassuring to remember that it is not possible to truly “go it alone” in any undertaking. Your most powerful ally in life, and in your efforts to transform your health, is God. As Hebrews 13:5 reminds us, God will not leave you or forsake you. By praying frequently on the topic of your health and weight, you are building a stronger relationship with God, focusing your own energies on your goals, and enlisting God’s help in meeting your goals (remember Matthew 7:7: “Ask and it will be given to you”). Because God will not leave you, then, it is impossible to truly “go it alone” in seeking to improve your health. As discussed below, however, it can be valuable to seek additional support as well.

First, for some, it can be very beneficial to do this with a friend or family member, or even with a small group of friends and family members. There are various benefits to sharing an experience such as this. You can draw strength and inspiration from one another – Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” Two (or more) people together can share ideas and insight and push each other forward – “sharpening” each other – in a way that one person alone cannot. Moreover, when you work with others, you can help each other through difficult moments. This is the meaning of Ecclesiastes 4:9–10. Two are better than one, because “If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!”

Second, in addition to finding friends to actually share this experience with, it can be valuable to have others supporting you as well. Discuss your goals with family members and friends, and enlist their help in staying focused on those goals. Even the act of telling people can help to reform your behavior, but more important, these people can help you make better choices throughout the day. The point is not to find people to nag or babysit you, but rather to find trusted advisers that will be able to gently remind you of your goals and who can help you talk through the choices you are making when it seems you might stray from your course. Also, if you have any friends or family members who are especially good models for health – people who eat well and get lots of exercise, for example – you should enlist their help as mentors. Discuss with them their motivation and inspiration and strategies, and try to spend as much time as possible with them – some studies suggest that good habits really can “rub off” on one another.

Third, make a commitment to spend ample time with your friends and family. Studies have suggested that one of the strongest predictors of a person’s overall happiness is the presence of positive relationships in that person’s life. In addition to its many obvious benefits, improving your overall happiness can help in your efforts to improve your physical health and appearance in many ways – increased self-esteem, greater and more consistent motivation, and reduced stress level, to name a few. So surround yourself with people that you enjoy and respect. Nurture your relationships with your friends, spouse, parents, children, siblings, co-workers, and church and other community members. Make time in your life to relax, laugh, and play with those you love. Schedule it in advance if you need to, and treat these relationship-enriching times as important as any other appointments you have.

You can recite the prayer at the top of this page a few times as you embark on your journey to better health, to remind yourself that you are not in it alone.

Next: Make sure you’re not eating too much.